By Bobby Hussey
Jonah Hill’s directorial debut is a delightfully refreshing film depicting the teenage years of our hero Stevie.
This film was really really beautiful, dripping with purity and realism. It’s made me really want to start skating and go to Los Angeles. The look of this film is amazing, it being shot on film, as you can sometimes see the white specks of ‘I don’t know what’ flash around the picture and that’s sort of reminiscent to how films used to be made. Jonah Hill doesn’t take us by the hand to carry us through the film, he blantanly shows us how things are but the style and the ambiance are so wonderful to watch that you just flow through the film on your own, it’s like swimming is still water. The performances are brilliant, Sunny Suljic is really talented with the subtlety of his performance, nothing is forced or clearly acted, it doesn’t look as though he’s actually acting.
The conflict of Stevie (aka Sunburn) and Ian is really realistic, as someone who has four siblings, conflict is natural and normal but you do sometimes tend to take it too far, and I used to fight a lot with my siblings . Still do, but now that I’m older I’m less bothered. I’m not saying I would actually get beat up or beat my siblings up as much as Stevie and Ian do in the film but that aspect of their relationship really resonated with me.
I don’t totally agree with *spoiler alert*: Stevie engaging in sexual activities ,it made me really uncomfortable, similar to the film “This is England” where the main character, who is really young has a sexual experience. I understand that maybe that does happen but that was maybe the only part that I didn’t agree with, but I do respect Jonah Hill’s wanting to portray the 90’s he lived through as they were. Same goes for the homophobic jokes, I do understand why they were in the film, that’s how it was back then, giving 2018 dialogue to a film set in the 90s would’ve I think taken away from the hole experience of you essentially getting a peek of what it was like to be a teenager back then. I think it’s very interesting to see how people reacted upon the release of this film, in this age we live in there is always some kind of backlash, in this case the homophobic jokes even if they do belong in this film. We now live in a world where everyone gets offended over everything and that is something that is starting to really bother me in our current society. Overall Jonah Hill has proved himself capable as a director with this wonderful coming tale free of the usual coming of age film clichés.